Those smart folks that picked up last year’s Stadium Blitzer will undoubtedly hit the payload with Ghosts Of Hallelujah, as Austin’s best band is back with the finest album of their career. A warm, spontaneity is the order of the day, with all of these 15 instantly-classic-sounding songs having been recorded in just one week, while the band was cozily tucked away in the Texas Hill Country. You want some name-dropping? Traces of The Band, John Fogerty, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Lane, and Guy Clark waft through the record.
“Ghosts of Hallelujah” possesses a serious Stonewall Jackson-“Me and You and a Dog Named Boo”-vibe, while “Gangsta Leon” is a song Robbie Robertson would have killed to have written. Hot fiddles, jolly accordions, and rustic mandolin and banjo plucking add delicious ingredients to the already potent stew of vivid songwriting, brilliant harmony singing, and hook-filled melodies. The ultimate strength of this record is that it harkens back to those late 60s/early 70s records, where an album was truly an album, not just a collection of two hits and a bunch of filler. Pick up Ghosts of Hallelujah now and I defy you to just try to pry it out of your CD changer—you won’t, not for a long time.